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A Dubliner’s Dublin

This time we’re showcasing a more genuine Dublin – a Dubliner’s Dublin. We shall avoid tourist tracks – well covered by umpteen posts in the blogosphere – and provide you with a more contemporary vision.

Getting about the city is very easy as it is well connected, but we propose discovering Ireland’s capital on foot. Most of the spots we’ll be recommending are accessible on a pleasant stroll along the banks of the river Liffey.

Our first stop is a Georgian mansion, the house of Richard Wingfield, Viscount Powerscourt (1730-1788), and his wife, Lady Amelia. It has now been converted into a trendy shopping centre, the Powerscourt Shopping Centre. A gem of past times become contemporary. Under one roof you can see the transition from the Baroque to the Neoclassical. The interior features unique design, fashion, gastronomy and art shops, among others. It also houses six restaurants, notably The Pepper Pot, with its large menu of organic dishes, and Pygmalion, known for its snacks and breakfast based on local produce.

Nearby, along George´s Street, is one of the best gay and lesbian pubs, The George, perfect for listening to live music and having a good pint. Could it be otherwise? On entering, turn around and you will see one of the city’s most beautiful murals, executed by the artist, Joe Caslin. Dublin’s gay district is gradually gaining currency, opening up an alternative avenue in the city and well worth visiting.

On the street that bears the name of the legendary Irish guitarist, musician, composer and producer, Rory Gallagher, lies Meeting House Square. In summer, this square throngs with musical events, while all year around on Saturdays it hosts foodies at a quaint organic market studded with takeaway food stalls offering the best quality. Here you will also come across the Temple Oyster Bar. If you’re a lover of this bivalve shellfish, just do it!

Now that we’re in the heart of the famous Temple Bar area, a short way off the beaten track we come to Essex Street East, home to one of the most delightful men’s fashion shops in all Dublin, Indigo and Cloth.

If you’re a photography enthusiast, make sure you head for The National Centre for Contemporary Photography – their exhibitions are really excellent! You will discover thematic collections of old Dublin, the Irish countryside and remembrances of the Great Famine.

The city also boasts an unusual cinema, a meeting point for Bohemians and lovers of the seventh art, where you can also have the menu of the day; we’re talking about the Irish Film Institute

But, if you’re game for a unique extrasensorial gastronomic experience, make sure you book for the city’s on-trend restaurant, Sophie's restaurant, located on the terrace of the newly inaugurated The Dean Hotel. Any description of their service, and the glamorous, stylish decor, is unlikely to do it justice, not to mention the incredible 360-degree views of the city.

Lastly, if you’re sweet-toothed, don’t fail to give yourself a treat at Queen of Tarts, a café and patisserie which was opened in the late-nineties by the Fallon sisters. Among Dubliners, their unbeatable cakes and tarts are an open secret.

If you’ve been following this itinerary, you’ve obviously strayed from the traditional route. But, if you still have the time, we recommend taking a whole day off to see the city in one of the typical Hop on-Hop Off tourist buses. We guarantee that, by the end of the weekend, you will have finished Dublin off!

We’ll be returning to Dublin soon, as this year sees the Irish Design 2015 event,but we’ll get to that in another post… for further information, check out the Tourism Ireland website.

Hurry and book your tickets with Vueling – you’re closer than ever to Dublin!

Text by Tensi Sánchez of actitudesmgz.com

Photography by Verónica García

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